Category Archives: Editing Tips

Sow, sew, or sough?

Words that look the same, or which might sound the same but have different spelling or meanings can be confusing, so how do we handle words like sow, sew and sough?

In this case, sow can have different meanings and different pronunciations, though it’s spelt the same way. As a noun, a sow is a female pig and is pronounced to rhyme with words such as now, how, and cow. If used as a verb, it means to plant seeds in the ground, and it’s pronounced to rhyme with words such as hoe, grow, and low.

pig

Examples:

The pig farmer separated the sow from her piglets.

The farmer went out to sow the seeds in the field.

 

Sew means to stitch a garment or fabric, and is pronounced to rhyme with words such as hoe, grow, and low.

cotton

Example:

With the price of store-bought clothing so low, people seldom sew clothes at home anymore.

 

Sough can be used as a noun or as an intransitive verb. The noun means a rustling sound, and the verb means to rustle. The pronunciation is a bit troublesome, though. As far as I’m aware, both are pronounced to rhyme with how, now, and cow, but I have heard the word pronounced to rhyme with hoe, grow, and low, and also to rhyme with words like enough. Any opinions on the correct pronunciation are most welcome!

tree 2

Examples:

In the early morning at the top of the hill you can the sea breeze sough (verb) through the trees.

The gentle sough (noun) of the wind through the trees reminds me of the murmur of water over pebbles.

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Far be it from me or far be it for me?

Which is correct: far be it from me, or far be it for me, and what does the saying mean?

Far be it from me is actually correct, and it’s usually followed by ‘but’. It means the equivalent of ‘God forbid that …’ or ‘Don’t let me try to tell you …’ and is used in a self-deprecatory way.

Examples:

Far be it from me to tell you how to run your life, but do you really think you’re making the right decision?

Far be it from me to advise you on which lawn mower to buy, but do you think that’s the best choice for your garden?

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Further or farther?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between these two words?

Both further and farther refer to distance. Further is more commonly used in a figurative sense, whereas farther is used in a more literal sense to refer to an actual distance.

Examples:

The farther they went from the town, the denser the woods became.

The thief stole whenever he could to further his own ends.

Farther and farther they travelled, until ‘home’ was but blip on the distant horizon.

Further to this, I have nothing more to say.’

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Swath or Swathe?

Have you ever read the word swath and wondered if it should be swathe?

Swath is a noun and refers to a path made by mowing or cutting, as with a scythe or similar instrument, but it’s often used in literature in a more figurative sense to indicate something that is like a path left by such actions or something that could be thought of as similar to a bandage, belt or strip. It can also mean the ridge or line of mown or scythed grass.

Swathe is a verb, meaning to wrap, bind or swaddle with narrow bands of some type of material. It can also mean to enfold or envelop. Although swathe is a verb, it is sometimes used as a noun and then it means a bandage, wrapping or strip of linen.

A bit confusing, I know, but if you stick to using swath as a noun and swathe as a verb you won’t go wrong.

Examples:

The man cut a swath through the field of rye.

Swathe the wound with strips of linen.

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Self-Editing Your Novel is here!

Exciting news is that Self-Editing Your Novel is now available on Amazon! It gives many useful tips on how to self-edit fiction, including how to cut down on word count if your novel is a bit long. Follow the step-by-step guidelines to learn how to eliminate common errors and make your work really shine.

3D in jpeg

http://www.authorsally.net/Self-Editing Your Novel

 

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Chameleon – suspense, excitement, romance, all rolled into one!

Chameleon_Cover_for_Kindle

http://www.authorsally.net/Chameleon

Chameleon was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award in the UK in 2010. Set in Africa, this family saga encompasses all the intrigue and mystery of that sun-drenched continent.

What readers have to say:

Kathy Stewart writes with empathy born of love of the vast and often troubled land of South Africa. Its history from 1914 to post World War II is seen through the lives of an English family struggling to run a general store in an isolated region, and the Africans whose lives are changed by the conflicts raging around them. It is a powerful story of loss, secrets and betrayal, and ultimately the endurance and healing power of love. It’s a darn good story ~ Sandy Curtis, author of six crime novels

Set in the historic background of South Africa, shadowed by the brutality of a war fuelled by racial tension, Chameleon’s characters act out their conflicted twisted lives. The reader is drawn inexorably into the characters’ motivations as the book charges to an unforeseen denouement. This debut book explores complex characters in a raw way. It’s an absorbing read. ~ Anne Herron

 

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Betty Bee’s Garden Adventure available now!

new front cover copy

http://www.authorsally.net/AmazonBettyBee

Betty Bee throws caution to the winds – literally – when she decides to stay out in a storm to collect pollen for her hive. This wonderfully illustrated book shows in a series of delightful colour pictures just what became of Betty Bee!

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